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1981 A.D.: Ronald Reagan Is Spared

  Ronald Reagan, the 40th US President, became unusually famous throughout the world and still holds a rare amount of respect here in the USA even long after his Presidency and sadly his passing.  I prefer seeing a President focus on staying home and doing a good job here, where they are being paid to do their work.  But the allure of being an important world figure has been too much by far for most of our Presidents to resist in recent times, so we've unfortunately been a nation who's Presidents have spent inordinate amounts of time gallavanting around the world in search of global glory.  Ronald Reagan always seemed like a guy that would rather be working at things here at home, and I liked that about him.  He traveled, though.  Presidents do.  And some of the world seemed to like him quite well. 

  When he did leave the nation, he often worked to solve problems in a way that made a real and lasting difference for the better, both for America, and for other people in the world - so I thought, anyway.  He had a hand in causing the Berlin wall to come down, he worked to bring the Carribean nations out of the creeping clutches of socialism.  The Iranian hostage crisis ended just as he took over the Presidency from exiting President Jimmy Carter, who's long patient negotiations had paid off in the release of the hostages after 444 days.  Reagan wasn't perfect, but he was pretty admirable most of the time; that's getting quite a lot from your President these days.  He seemed to understand that he was a married man, and he valued his family.  He also had a very able Vice President in George Herbert Walker Bush, who would follow Reagan as President. 

  Ronald Reagan was raised Christian, raised to believe in Jesus.  His earthly father Jack was from a Catholic background, but Ronald was apparently more affiliated with Protestantism through his mother's side, being baptized into the Disciples of Christ Church, also called the Christian Church, which focused on a congregational form of church self government, and a Bible based Christian faith. 

  Though a Christian by faith, it's also true though that as a fairly new California governor he signed a bill called the Therapeutic Abortion Act, a bill claiming to provide for the availability of competent medical professionals to provide abortions that were medically necessary to allow mother's who's lives were endangered by their pregnancy to obtain something other than a back-room abortion.  But once the bill was available to be used, it was misused on a wholesale level by abortion endorsers.  It was reportedly used to genuinely guard a mother's live very seldom by comparison.  An estimated 2 million babies were slaughtered using this law, a number which far exceeded the population of many US states at the time.     

  President Reagan later expressed deep regret that he had ever signed that bill, saying that he hadn't realized the scope of the consequences concerning how the bill would actually be used, and how often.  He was afterwards a publically professed 'Pro Life' politician.  But, though I mention it, it is only to say that he was a man profoundly sorry for what he saw as his mistakes.  He seemed a genuine man - true hearted - despite even his background as an actor.         

 He was called 'the Great Communicator', and was deserving of the nick-name.  He was a former actor, and that surely helped, but you get a feeling if you go to visit his Presidential Library that he was born for the job of speaking to many.  He enjoyed people.  Many people enjoyed him.  He is still held in great esteem by many Americans, most especially in the Republican Party.  And when he spoke, it was often memorable.  He could give a speech!

  And he was an actual hero in some ways.  As a swimmer's lifegaurd, in his younger years, he is credited with saving 77 lives!  Lifegaurds are supposed to do that if they can, of course.  That's their job.  But...he did!  Many times, apparently.  The proud young lifegaurd put a notch in a log near where he worked each time he saved a person.

  Reagan the politician was not universally loved, of course.  Not by a long shot.  Or a close one.

  On Mar 21, 1981, a newly minted President Reagan had viewed Ford's Theatre, where President Lincoln was fatally shot.  He is recorded as saying that, as he viewed Lincoln's booth an eerie feeling came over him as he realized how even with all of the Secret Service protection a determined person could still easily enough shoot a President.  A prescient thought!

  Nine days later, on March 30, 1981, as he exited a hotel, an assasination attempt was made on his life.  A man named John Hinkley Jr. used a 22 caliber pistol to try to terminate the President, in hopes of impressing a woman (a woman that he had a one sided crush on) with the ardency of his love. But instead of being killed, Reagan became the first President to actually be hit by an assasin's bullet (while President) and live on. 

  ***Long before President Reagan, President Garfield was shot, and would probably have lived, except that every doctor that could possibly gain access to him tried to stick their grubby fingers in the bullet hole to be the one to extract the bullet and save the President.  Garfield lingered for a great many days, his immune system battling not just the damage from the bullet, but all of the contamination from the many bullet seekers.  The fever and infection are what most likely eventually killed Garfield, some experts judge.  And, aside from Garfield, President Andrew Jackson carried multiple bullets inside of him from duels he was involved in during his earlier years, prior to his Presidency.***

  Though 6 shots were fired, Reagan actually received only a bullet fragment to his chest, the fragment lodging in his lung very close to his heart.  He wore no bullet proof vest.  The Secret Service were quick and brave, and so were the policemen that were on hand.  One of each of those actually took a bullet also.  But, of course the President received a great deal more public attention, as you might guess.   

  Whisked away quickly to the George Washington University hospital, Reagan was conscious.  At first they thought that he only had a bruised rib from the rough handling that the Secret Service guys accidently gave him as he was thrown into the limousine.  But then blood was seen on his lips.  Someone in the limo made the personal call to break from plan and head directly for the nearest hospital rather than the contingency hospital, and that professionally risky decision almost certainly saved Reagan's life.   

  Internally, Reagan was bleeding rather badly from a bullet fragment in his lung.  He seemed awake and almost all right - hardly affected - but when he did begin to lose strength he declined guickly.  Once in the hospital, his blood pressure dropped alarmingly, but fortunately he was in the midst of a trained (and highly motivated) medical staff by then, and they saved him.  It took about 3 hours for the surgery, they say.   

  He was making jokes as they brought him in and began surgery.  One joke was spoken to his doctor (rough quote) :  "I hope you are a Republican!"  That was President Reagan's political party affiliation.  A doctor quickly turned and assured him that "Today, Mr. President, we are all Republicans."

  When he saw his wife, he told her "Honey, I forgot to duck!"  That's only a little funny on its own, but it's funnier if you know that it was the famous early boxer Jack Dempsey's remark after receiving a sound beating at the hands of a man named Gene Tunney.  Reagan and his wife were insiders on that joke.

  But Reagan healed with what was called remarkable swiftness, and was soon back on the job.  And his two term Presidency turned out to be a very important one.  Much progress was made regarding peace between the more powerful nations, and in later Presidencies there was good communication between nations that would not probably have occurred if not for the groundwork laid by Reagan.

  And in the USA, his Presidency came to be viewed by many as a time of getting back to important and wholesome basics - a time of improvement in America.  He is usually regarded, even by his political enemies, as an important President.

  I asked some of the volunteers at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library if they knew of any item inside of the Reagan Library which might speak of Ronald Reagan having any important event concerning God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit during his Presidency.  They all readily told me to go to the portion of the exhibit concerning the assasination attempt on Reagan's life.

  There I found displayed a note that Reagan wrote to someone shortly after the attempt on his life.  It read in part:

  "Whatever happens now, I owe my life to God and will try to serve him in any way I can."

  Another nearby note explained that Reagan felt from that point on that his life had been spared by God so that he could continue to pursue peaceful relations between the nations of the world.  Nuclear war was an always lurking threat, in those days as now, and the Soviets and the Americans had far less communication than now as well.  And there were many other nations with whom Reagan pursued improved relations.  

  But, the important point I think is that he recognized that he worked for God. 

  Praise God who puts rulers in place, and removes them, as He wishes.

  And blessed are the peace makers.


©2017 Daniel Curry & 'Deeds of God' Website